Thursday, May 24, 2012

Dead until Dark by Charlaine Harris

Review by Sarah

I just finished “Dead until Dark” by Charlaine Harris the other night.   Have to say that it was an enjoyable read but it did take awhile for me to get into it. But after finishing it I did download the next book in the series.

We have Sookie Stackhouse who is a waitress in a small Louisiana town named Bon Temps.  Sookie is a pretty, blond, twenty-five year old waitress, who works at a bar called Merlotte’s.  Sookie however has a disability, as she refers to it.  Sookie can read minds.  It is for this reason that many of the citizens refer to her as “Crazy Sookie Stackhouse.”   It takes a lot of effort to block out everyone else thoughts,  so often times she is concentrating so hard on this, that even the simplest things mess Sookie up.  Sookie has never dated anyone seriously because she knows exactly what the man is thinking about her. 

This changes when a vampire named Bill, enters Merlotte’s.  Vampires have only recently been accepted into American society. They now have rights and it is even illegal to kill them.  This is ironic seeing that they are already dead.  Many bars now carry synthetic blood for the vampire clientele.  There is even part of society that wants to be fed on by vampires, these individual are called fang-bangers.  What Sookie finds so attractive about Bill, besides his looks, is that she cannot read his mind.  

There is a lot of anti-vampire sentiment in the community. One person has taken it to the extreme and is killing young women who happen to like to date or feed vampires.  Sookie soon realizes that her relationship with Bill makes her a target. She tries to break it off, but soon realizes that she is in love with Bill. 

As I mentioned earlier I did enjoy the book and want to read the second one, but I did have a few issues with the book.  I wish that there was more of a feel of the south in the book. Besides the names it seems like Bon Temps, could be located anywhere in the country.  Also I just don’t get Sookie’s attraction to Bill.  I know part of it is that can’t read his mind but other than that I just don’t get it.  To me he seems quite boring and there wasn’t enough of a build up before the relationship started.  I am quite intrigued with what may happen between her and Sam and perhaps Eric.  I have heard that the HBO series “True Blood” is quite good but deviates from the book quite a bit so I am not sure if I will watch it right away.  I may wait until I get further in to the series before I watch it. ~Sarah

Request Dead until Dark from the Bangor Public Library

Friday, May 18, 2012

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

I am quite excited that “The Daughter of Smoke and Bone” got selected as one of the reads for the summer.  While this is technically a Young Adult novel it doesn’t always read like one.
The story follows Karou, a blue haired art student in Prague, who leads a sort of double life.  All of her sketchbooks are filled with creatures made up of different animals. When her fellow students look at the creatures Karou tells fantastical stories about these creatures. It is almost like she thinks that these creatures, or Chimera, are real. What Karou’s friends don’t know is that these Chimera actually do exist. Karou visits these creatures via a door when opened from the inside leads to another world where the Chimera live.  Ironically enough the Chimera also enjoy Karou’s sketches and stories of the humans. When Karou enters into this world she is surrounded by the creatures that raised her. 
There is Issa, who was serpent from the waist down, woman from the waist up and a hood and fangs of a cobra and beautiful face. Then there was Yasri, parrot-beaked but with human eyes and orange curls. Then there is the creature that she thinks of as a father figure, Brimstone. Brimstone deals in wishes, and who Karou sometimes refers to as the Wishmonger.  Brimstone has the arms and torso of a human but it is covered in a hide instead of skin.  He has the legs of a lion but the feet of a raptor.  The most engaging part of Brimstone is his head is part of a ram, including its horns, but covered in hide which changed to scales around his nose; this is all set off by his reptile eyes. 

While the creatures that inhabit this world are fantastical, there is another special quality to these rooms that they inhabit.  It is in fact a portal to cities all over the world.  Daily men and women would visit Brimstone and bring him teeth of all kinds of animals, including in some cases human teeth.  They in turn get paid in wishes.  Karou will also go out to do errands for Brimstone, exiting the same door she came in but now she may find herself in Paris, New York, or Marrakesh.   While she is doing errands for Brimstone she starts to notice that the imprint of a hand has been burned into all of the portal doors.  It is here in Marrakesh that she has a fight with a man, who turns out to be an angel.  She gets away, but Akiva the angel feels compelled to find her. From the moment that Akiva enters the story you know that there will be a romance between, him and Karou.  

This is quite an enjoyable read, but I did have to remind myself at times that it is intended for a young adult audience.  There was a part of the plot that I had a problem with, I don’t want to give too much away so I won’t get into the specifics, but the more I thought about it the more it bothered me.  But without this crucial plot point we could not have the conflict that is needed for the end of the book.  This is the start of a trilogy so it will be exciting to see where the story will take us. ~Sarah

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Hunger Games Movie Night

You're invited to
Ladies Night Out at the Movies
Thursday, May 3, 2012
6:45 PM
Bangor Mall Cinemas

If you couldn't make it to our last meeting, we finally set a date to meet at the Bangor Mall Cinemas to watch The Hunger Games

I know I don't need to say this for our NYOBG members, but for anyone else who may just happen upon this post please be aware that this is not a library event, everyone will be responsible for purchasing their own tickets at $8.75.

We are all meeting after work inside the lobby at 6:15 pm.  Everyone is welcome to join us, even if you haven't been to a meeting for a while! 

Hope to see you there,
Jan and Sarah